Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com—
I am so ready!
Center Ice ordered along with NHL GameCenter Live. All cables and inputs checked and tightened on the back of the HDTV. The recliner is exactly 9 feet away from the 55 inch screen. Picture-in-picture x4 checked, which allows me to follow 8 games at a time. Climbed onto the roof, sprayed the satellite dish with anti-stick cooking spray (prevents ice and snow build-up).
Sound system has been checked…
continued… as Paul reminds me of all the ways that some of us are NOT ready!
from Tim Arango of the New York Times,
On Saturday, the N.H.L. opens its 2008-9 season, putting yet more distance between the league and its former financial troubles, which wiped out the entire season four years ago after management and the players union failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement.
By many measures, the league has engineered a turnaround — both attendance and revenue are up. But the labor fiasco remains fresh in people’s minds, including those in charge of marketing the league to fans, and those troubles still serve as a backdrop to the league’s business and marketing decisions.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Since European players began populating National Hockey League rosters in the late 1970s, their influence on the game has been unmistakable. The N.H.L. hopes to find out what impact it could have in Europe this weekend, when the regular season begins with games in Sweden and the Czech Republic….
“Our goal is to increase our brand presence there,” the N.H.L.’s deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, said. “We would like to have some sort of permanent presence, whether it is some kind of league office or stores or regular games, but clearly we want to extend our brand in Europe.”
It’s no surprise then that Bettman, 56, ranks among the most important people in sports according to BusinessWeek’s upcoming Power 100 survey, placing 21st in the annual balloting.
Bettman earned his spot by taking on the biggest brawlers in pro sports—the NHL Players’ Assn. In 2004, Bettman concluded that rising player salaries were pushing many teams, and perhaps the league itself, toward the brink. His fix: a pay cap similar to the one used in the National Basketball Assn., where Bettman worked from 1981 to 1993, in the marketing and legal departments.
from the CP,
Another thing he’s not complaining about is a collective bargaining agreement that’s now entering its fourth year.
The NHL lost an entire season before owners and players ended up agreeing on a salary cap system that is tied to league revenues. Both have steadily increased during the three years since. The cap first began at US$39 million - a number that is no longer enough for a team to reach the floor because the current cap is set at $56.7 million.
Overall, the agreement has turned out to be something that both sides can be happy with, according to Bettman.
“I think this CBA has been fair to everyone,” he said. “It has made the industry healthier and it has made the game better.
“I think we give our fans a better product and environment to the game than we did before. I don’t think it’s close. And it’s working the way we anticipated it would.”
read on, many more topics discussed…
from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,
NHL players certainly are not immune. Eventually, the rush of speeding up ice, the sensation of delivering a hard body check, the thrill of scoring a big goal or making an important save and the jolt of energy felt from the home crowd fades, ultimately disappearing to memory.
Most face the end of their careers either seeing that they’re unable to keep up with younger players or having someone make the decision for them. Some are lucky to call it a day on their own terms.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
From the Class of 1990, Owen Nolan remains but Petr Nedved, Keith Primeau, Mike Ricci and Jaromir Jagr—four of the top-five draft picks—are out of the NHL. The best player from that class: The ageless goaltender, Martin Brodeur.
a few more hockey notes tossed in Steve’s Sunday column…
NHL Senior VP of Officiating Stephen Walkom discusses the rule changes for this season.
Watch the video below…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The NHL says the IIHF has bowed to KHL boss Alexander Medvedev and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly goes as far as suggesting Medvedev and the IIHF are working together.
“There is a real concern that the IIHF as an organization has been co-opted by Medvedev and the KHL. There is no other explanation for their recent behaviour and for refusing to uphold their principles. It raises real questions about the type and nature of the relationship that exists between the leadership of the IIHF and Medvedev.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
And then, there’s Paul Maurice, who is hitting the books.
“Every time I get fired, I like to take a few courses,” Maurice told ESPN.com on Friday. He is studying business at the University of Windsor (Ontario). “I commute from Toronto and take a few classes down there. Although, last week, the faculty went on strike and that put a bit of a fly in the ointment.”
He’s inching closer to finishing his degree.
“Yeah, I’m on a 22-year plan to get my degree,” said Maurice, never a stranger to a punch line.
more and a note on John Ferguson Jr. too.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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